Odenton, MD – A Maryland father has been arrested for allegedly physically abusing his 14-year-old son and giving the boy a shotgun when he confided that he was struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Anthony Lewis, 46, allegedly grabbed a shotgun, thrust it into his son’s arms, and forced the boy’s hands over the trigger, WMAR reported.
“Do it – just do it,” he instructed, according to court documents. “End it now.”
The teen ultimately fled the room and locked himself in his bedroom, WMAR reported.
The boy told police about the incident – and many others – after they responded to his high school on Nov. 20, WJZ reported.
According to the teen, Lewis assaulted him multiple times between Jan. 19 and June 30.
On at least three occasions, he allegedly beat the boy with a belt, hitting him approximately 20 times during each attack, leaving him with welts and bruises, ABC News reported.
Lewis allegedly strangled the teen during one assault, according to WJZ.
“I saw weird colors in my eyes and it started turning black,” he told investigators.
The boy recalled that his legs and arms began to tingle, and that he felt like he was about to lose consciousness.
Early in 2019, Lewis took the teen out of school under the premise of homeschooling, but allegedly forced him to do various chores around the house instead, WJZ reported.
Once his daily tasks were complete, the boy was forced to sit in his bedroom without electronics or any means of communication, he said.
If he had to use the bathroom, he had to ask permission first, he told investigators.
The teen said that he had become “numb to these things,” WJZ reported.
Lewis has been charged with assisted suicide by providing means, failure to send a child to school, firearm use, second-degree child abuse, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, and first-degree assault, according to ABC News.
He was booked into the Jennifer Road Detention Center, where he was being held without bond.
Lewis’ preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 23.